A thief unsuccessfully attempted to extort a Swedish military official and his elderly father for $40 using a widely known scam, Lt. Cmdr. Peter Palm testified in court yesterday. According to the Swedish intelligence commander, career criminal Louis Parson tried to pull a "broken bottle scam"—which closely resembles a "broken glasses scam"—on him and his father in a Midtown hotel.
According to the Daily News, the military man and his dad were returning to the Hotel Pennsylvania after a tour of jazz clubs when suspect Louis Parson bumped into them and dropped a bottle that purportedly contained booze. "You have to give me money for my bottles," Parson allegedly said, demanding $40 dollars. Understanding he was being scammed, Palm claims he refused to hand over the money and said "it wasn't my fault." Parson then trailed the pair across the lobby and said the matter could be settled for $20, before threatening them with a box cutter, according to Palm. "Am I going to have to f--- you up over this?" Parson reportedly said.
That's when two undercover officers who witnessed the scam pounced on Parson. Palm and his father fled, believing the plainclothes cops were also thieves. Parson, who has a long rap sheet of violent crimes and could face life in prison if convicted of attempted robbery, said he's done the bottle scam "hundreds of times." But he denies pulling a knife on the Swedes: "He put his fist up—which I took as a threat," he said, claiming he took out the knife in self-defense. "I've been hit five to six times doing this con."
Here's a rather anticlimactic video of the scam: